Commuters Criticise ZUPCO Over 100% Fee Hike

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By Staff Reporter

COMMUTERS have described as “unsustainably exorbitant” the hiking of public bus fares by the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) from $16 to $30 for conventional buses and $32 to $60 for kombis.

The new fares start this Monday, but passengers feel the fares were unaffordable for most of them.

On Friday, Finance Ministry secretary George Guvamatanga approved the new fares, which shot up by 100%.

According to the new fare structure, passengers will now pay $30 per trip for

The Passenger Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) president, Tafadzwa Goliati Sunday said workers’ salaries were not in tandem with the new transport costs and its members will be seriously affected.

“How can you hike fuel prices and fares while we are in lockdown. The majority of our people are suffering and you continue to press us harder and harder,” he said.

“Our salaries do not match with the current increment at all. We are now living from hand to mouth. The world over when fuel hikes are made, it triggers price hikes in all sectors. The recent ZUPCO bus and kombi fare hikes are not justified especially in view of the fact that people’s salaries remain stagnant.”

Consumer rights activist Effie Ncube said the price increase will continuously affect the poor.

“The unabated price rises will affect the poor majority in the country who have been depending on ZUPCO transport monopoly to travel. Additionally, the upward movement of the price of fuel will put inflationary pressures on the prices of all goods and services,” said Ncube.

“This is placing those goods and services beyond the reach of millions of already suffering Zimbabweans. This will in turn drive up poverty and hunger as fewer and fewer will afford basic commodities. Furthermore, sooner rather than later, more workers will turn to industrial action in view of the erosion of their incomes.”